Kurdish broadcaster publishes first footage of Iraq President Talabani in year since stroke
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Many rumors speculated that Talabani had died during his convalescence. DHA photoKurdish broadcaster Kurdsat has published the first footage of convalescent Iraq President Jalal Talabani for almost a year since he suffered a stroke on Dec. 17, 2012, leading to endless rumors regarding his health.
The Iraqi president, currently in Germany for treatment, was pictured sitting at a desk along with his wife Hero Talabani in hospital.
Kurdsat is reportedly owned by Talabani’s Sulaymaniyah-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Many rumors speculated that Talabani had died during his convalescence, which has coincided with one of the deadliest periods in Iraq in recent memory with the rise of sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites.
The absence of the veteran Kurdish leader also came during a dangerous escalation in the confrontation between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The first pictures during his convalescence were published last May by the Iraqi Presidential Office. The head of the medical team, Najmaldin Karim, was cited by the website as saying at the time that the 79-year-old Talabani would be able to return to Iraq as soon as his treatment was finished.